Mariela Castro Absent from Human Rights Hearing on LGBTI Discrimination
in Cuba / 14ymedio
Posted on October 23, 2015
14ymedio, 20 October 2015 — An independent group of transgender
activists in Cuba denounced for the first time, on Monday, LGBTI
discrimination on the island before the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights (IACHR). Mariela Castro, director of the National Center
for Sex Education (Cenesex), however, did not participate in the
meeting, in which the lawyer James L. Cavallaro and other members of the
— Tracy Robinson and Felipe Gonzalez — listened for an hour to the
testimony of several speakers, such as Juana Mora Cedeno, from Free
Rainbow; the transgender Sisy Montiel from the Transfantasy Network, and
Carlos Quezada, from the Institute on Race Equality and Human Rights.
Quezada acknowledged the "visibility" of the subject in Cuba, lamenting
that it is associated with one name, that of the daughter of Cuban
president Raul Castro. "However, such visibility at the international
level contrasts with the real human rights situation for members of the
LGBTI community in Cuba," he explained. "Members of the independent
community in defense of LGBTI rights in Cuba wonder what would happen
with the visibility of the issue on the island, if the Mariela Castro
were not in Cenesex," he added.
The activists Cedeno and Montiel have petitioned the Cuban authorities
to avoid discrimination based on sexual orientation, with no
response. Both also affirmed that they are victims of police
surveillance and the tapping of their phones and added that agents of
State Security questioned them about their possible participation in the
last Summit of the Americas.
Cedano highlighted that the lack of official data on the rights of LGBTI
people, which has been collected in independent surveys. These surveys
have put into relief the discrimination and abuses against the
community, including by the Cuban authorities themselves.
The activist pointed out the discrimination in the workplace and
denounced the impunity enjoyed by these discriminatory attitudes towards
homosexual, lesbian and transgender people.
Sisy Montiel, sentenced to 17 years for "female mannerisms," talked
about the marginalization from an early age of young boys who want to
dress like girls, warning that this condition forces them to leave
school and thus end up in prostitution.
Source: Mariela Castro Absent from Human Rights Hearing on LGBTI
Discrimination in Cuba / 14ymedio | Translating Cuba -